Chris Rock Says He Declined Offer to Host the 2023 Academy Awards

Chris Rock Says He Declined Offer to Host the 2023 Academy Awards

Chris Rock has declined an invitation to host the 2023 Academy Awards. The comedian shared the news during his show at the Arizona Financial Theatre in downtown Phoenix this past Sunday night, the Arizona Republic is reporting.

Rock revealed that the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences asked him to return to host the Oscars for a third time, after he previously hosted the awards show in 2005 and 2016. The invitation for the high-profile job came after his infamous moment at this year’s ceremony. During the show, fellow actor Will Smith slapped Rock onstage after the latter made a joke about the former’s wife, Jada Pinkett Smith.

The incident took place just before Rock presented the award for best documentary feature. Less than an hour later, Smith won the best actor Academy Award for his performance of the titular character in the biographical sports drama, King Richard.

During his comedy show in Phoenix, Rock reportedly compared accepting the job of hosting next year’s Oscars ceremony to returning to the scene of a crime.

Rock referenced the murder trial of O.J. Simpson after the death of his ex-wife, Nicole Brown Simpson. The latter’s death began after she left a pair of eyeglasses at an Italian restaurant. Rock said returning to the Academy Awards would be like asking Brown Simpson to go back to the restaurant.

The sold-out crowd at Rock’s Phoenix show then encouraged him to talk about his take on his interaction with Smith at this year’s Oscars. So comedian instead referenced Smith’s performance as boxer Muhammed Ali in the 2001 drama Ali, for which the actor earned his first Academy Award nomination.

“He’s bigger than me,” Rock said. “The state of Nevada would not sanction a fight between me and Will Smith.”

The Academy has declined to comment on Rock’s remarks. Its invitation for him to host next year’s ceremony came after its board of governors banned Smith from returning to the Oscars or attending any other Academy events for the next 10 years, a week after he publicly resigned from the Academy.

Earlier this month, newly appointed Academy CEO Bill Kramer noted that the board is committed to having a host on the show next year and is “already looking at some key partners on that.”

Kramer also emphasized that the slap will not be a topic of discussion or jokes at next year’s ceremony. “We want to move forward and to have an Oscars that celebrates cinema. That’s our focus right now,” he said.

The news that Rock declined to host next year’s Oscars came after he was also asked to host the 2022 Primetime Emmys, but declined that invitation, as well. He has stated that he turned down both offers because he has moved on.

I’m fine. I’m all right,” Rock insisted when he joined fellow comedian, Dave Chappelle, during his Hollywood Bowl show at the Netflix Is a Joke festival in May.

Check out more of Karen Benardello’s articles.

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